Part One: The Problem
- A Creeping Authoritarianism
- How did we get here? The Root Problems
1. A Creeping Authoritarianism
So I think it’s clear now that the US is in some serious trouble.
Of course everyone is still hoping that things are going to normalize. We hope that Trump is soon going to settle down into a typical, if a bit “spicy”, pro-business Republican. “Yes, he’s going to be aggressive and a bit unpredictable, and he’s going to push boundaries, but fundamentally he’s going to stick to the rules, and play the game. Don’t worry. He’ll be kept in check.”
Perhaps. But the line between hope and denial can be a fine one. If we step back a little, there are a lot of signs that are pointing in a darker direction. It’s getting hard to ignore them.
Trump has been…
- scapegoating the outsider (Mexicans, refugees) and subtly green-lighting a whole host of anti-minority prejudices
- encouraging nationalism
- systematically denigrating and bullying all established bases of power that intimidate him or are independent of him (intelligence, army, the central bank, judiciary, congress) — there is a very good article on Bloomberg about this
- attacking and delegitimizing the press and undermining its trustworthiness and credibility
- placing relatively inexperienced and politically “unattached” figures in key positions of power, who are therefore almost totally, personally dependent on Trump for their position
- playing the security card
Does this sound familiar?